Department Gearing up for Eightieth National Ploughing Championships

Minister Michelle O’Neill MLA has extended an invitation across the agricultural sector for all to visit the DARD exhibition at the 80th National Ploughing Championships in Athy, Co Kildare.

The Championships, this year, take place from Tuesday 20 to Thursday 22 September. DARD’s exhibition at this year’s event will once again include a dedicated pavilion to showcase small rural businesses and organisations supported by DARD. The aim is to help them develop new market opportunities.

Announcing plans for the DARD stand, the Minister said: “The National Ploughing Championships is the biggest event in the Irish farming calendar and one of the largest in Europe. It gives agricultural and rural businesses a unique opportunity to put their goods and services on show to a very large audience.

“This will be the fifth consecutive year that my Department has staged an exhibit at this three day event. This presence has helped a number of small rural businesses from the North to both test the water and establish new markets in the South and I am hopeful that will continue at this year’s event.

“I am pleased to be able to continue this support. The Department will be hosting a number of small local rural enterprises and AFBI in a dedicated pavilion. The exhibitors will be promoting a range of goods and services. These include research and development, light engineering, rural tourism, food and drink, renewable energy, livestock handling and environmental products and services for the farming sector.

“The National Ploughing Championships is a unique event and well worth a visit. A warm welcome on the DARD stand will be awaiting anyone attending the Ploughing Championships.”

One of the largest agricultural exhibitions in Europe and the marketplace for Irish agriculture, visitors to this year’s Ploughing Championships can look forward to a very impressive display of the latest innovations in agricultural machinery, agri-services, bio-energy, forestry, livestock and all related industries. Last year around 1,000 exhibitors featured at the championships which attracted crowds in excess of 180,000.

Discussing local competitors’ prospects in the championships, the Minister said: “In particular I want to wish all our local ploughmen the best of luck at this year’s event in Athy and I am confident that they can perform well in this prestigious competition.”